US Merchant Marine Academy official under fire for tweet on 'white, male' roots of racism, misogyny
A U.S. Merchant Marine Academy official is under fire for a series of racially charged tweets – including one in which he attributes misogyny and racism to "the same white, male root."
Anton Tripolskii, who was hired at the Kings Point, New York, school as its $142,595-per-year sexual assault response director, sent a June 2020 tweet that's now at the target of a scathing letter from the U.S. House's Anti-Woke Woke Caucus.
"We don’t have forces who do right by survivors of intimate partner and sexual violence because we don’t have forces who don’t abuse Brown and Black people," Tripolskii wrote in the controversial tweet. "Same forces, same reasons. Misogyny and racism grow from the same white, male root."
The Anti-Woke Caucus is now calling on the academy's superintendent to demand answers on the Twitter activity of Tripolskii, who was installed in September.
The letter – signed by Republican Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana, Mary Miller of Illinois, Jeff Duncan of South Carolina and Brian Babin of Texas – comes amid allegations from some midshipmen that the service academy under the authority of Superintendent Vice Adm. Joanna Nunan and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has become increasingly "woke."
From July 1, 2019, to Dec. 15, 2022, there were 26 reported cases of sexual assault at the USMMA, according to a report submitted to Congress.
Citing multiple tweets from before his time at the academy, the caucus members requested clarification whether Tripolskii's "outspoken comments about race and gender in the United States are reflective of the academy and its beliefs."
The members noted that Tripolskii retweeted a user in October 2020 who suggested "White men with a history of domestic and sexual violence" are more inclined to become "radicalized terrorists."
In April 2020, Tripolskii quote tweeted a political cartoon that depicted a church shuttered and blocked off by police while stores labeled "Twitter Drama" and "Fiona Apple Album" remained open. "This is my heaven," he wrote.
"We would hope that the Merchant Marines would disavow Mr. Tripolskii's argument that society lacks the capacity to treat survivors of rape and sexual assault or, more generally, Americans of all ethnicities with dignity and respect," the Anti-Woke Caucus members wrote. "In the same vein, we would hope the Merchant Marines would disavow the argument that any failures to that effect 'grow from the same white, male root.'"
The letter went on to mention that in an email Tripolskii sent to all midshipmen in April regarding the academy's "inaugural field day" for its Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, he explained that the goal of the event was to "support LGBTQ+ community members."
"The identities of LGBTQ+ people are marginalized in our society, making it more difficult to report and seek assistance for sexual violence, which LGBTQ+ people in particular face at an unacceptably high rate," Tripolskii wrote, according to a copy of the email obtained by Fox News Digital.
John Guttlein, a 2022 graduate of the school, told Fox News Digital earlier this year that when he was enrolled, shirts emblazoned with a rainbow logo were distributed to midshipmen who wished to wear sweatpants during a similar "Spirit Day." Those who declined to wear the rainbow shirt had to wear their standard uniform khakis.
Multiple midshipmen currently attending the academy who spoke to Fox News Digital on condition of anonymity said "woke" ideology has seeped into the school and accelerated under Buttigieg, whose Department of Transportation oversees the service academy.
The members of Congress concluded their letter by emphasizing the academy's stated commitment to inclusion, and they questioned whether Tripolskii's sentiments "disparaging White men as a group" are conducive to that end.
They further asked if the academy agrees with Tripolskii that misogyny and racism emerge "from the same White, male root" and whether such an attitude might make White male midshipmen reluctant to come forward with allegations of sexual assault.
The House subcommittee overseeing the DOT directed the academy on page 99 of its appropriations bill last year to "implement SASH [sexual assault and sexual harassment] prevention measures, provide additional support to survivors, help support broader culture change at the [academy] and across the maritime industry, and advance measures to support diversity, equity, and inclusion."
The 26-member House Anti-Woke Caucus, which Banks helped to establish earlier this year, has requested members on 12 appropriations committees to strike such language from their bills.
"Mr. Tripolskii's comments are divisive and wrong and disqualify him from employment at a U.S. Service Academy," Banks told Fox News Digital. "It appears that House Democrats, alongside Secretary Buttigieg, used their appropriations bill to politicize the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and endorse the hiring of far-left ideologues."
"The Anti-Woke Caucus is calling on all Republicans to use our majority to remove this sort of politically weaponized language from all government funding bills," Banks added.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy confirmed to Fox News Digital their receipt of the letter from the caucus members and said the academy continues its focus on strengthening sexual assault prevention and response capacity in support of midshipmen on campus and cadets at sea.
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